Peter and Eleni Markeas migrated to Australia from Kardamili in Greece in search of a better life.
And they found it in the Riverland’s vineyards, where the soil and temperatures provided them with the ideal conditions to realise their dream of winemaking and leave their footprint.
The hard-working couple may have sacrificed a lot on the way to materialising their goals, but their multi-awarded wine has given them all the validation they need.
The Markeas family’s 30 years of experience in developing vineyards has translated into exquisite, quality wines, able to compete internationally and make both Australia and Greece proud at the first sip.
Peter and Eleni put down roots in the Riverland in the form of a mixed farm full of wine grapes, apricots, peaches and so on. Naturally this connection with the land and its bounty of fruit was instilled in their children, Arthur and Jim, who now manage Mallee Estate winery in Renmark along the banks of the River Murray.
Renmark is part of the Riverland, which is a large Australian wine region with a continental climate and temperature averaging from 16°C in winter to 30°C in summer.
“With the growing season going through minimal disease pressure while the land is flat with red-brown sandy loam soil we enjoy the benefit of a dry, Mediterranean climate,” Jim Markeas explained.
“These conditions are ideal for growing consistent quality year after year, delivering fruit-driven wines with soft tannins that are easy drinking.”
Although the estate was established in 1998, it took the Markeas family 14 years before the winery was processing 100 per cent of their 60 acres of vineyard into their own Mallee Estate wines.
Now available in markets throughout Australia, China and the USA, Mallee Estate wine is a reflection of the Markeas family’s values, dedication and commitment to quality and flavour.
In 2015, Neos Kosmos was proud to announce the family winning ‘Riverland Winery of the Year’ at the New York International Wine Competition and Jim Markeas being awarded ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the Riverland Wine Show.
Jim Markeas has done it again this year, as several weeks ago he returned from Asia with yet another distinction.
The Mallee Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was chosen as one of just three outstanding SA wines for the gala dinner at the conclusion of the SA trade mission to China with Premier Jay Weatherill.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved,” Jim said.
“This is great recognition for Mallee Estate Wines but just as importantly, recognition of the fine wines we can consistently produce right here in the Riverland”.
Meanwhile, another three of his wines, the 2014 sauvignon blanc, the 2010 P&E Shiraz and the 2013 shiraz were each awarded silver medals at the prestigious New York International Wine Competition (NYIWC).
In addition, Mallee Estate also picked up the 2015 Riverland Producer of the Year award at the same competition with the very special 2010 P&E Shiraz which honours Jim’s parents, Peter and Eleni, who migrated from Greece in the 1960s with the dream of owning their own vineyard and producing their own wine.
“We are particularly proud of this accomplishment,” Eleni Markeas added.
“We are happy the world appreciates our Australian wines that evoke the atmosphere of Greece.”
This latest success adds to the accolades received in April when four of Mallee Estate’s wines were awarded 88 points each by Anthony Dias Blue of the influential The Tasting Panel magazine in the USA.
There is a real feeling of family, loyalty and tradition at Mallee Estate Wines, as the entire family – Jim, Arthur, Peter and Eleni – put their hard work and perseverance in growing, processing and promoting their wines to the world.
“I guess it all comes down to the passion our family has for the wine and for the life on the land,” Jim continued. “There is a connection with the land.
“You need to have respect for the land that offers you its fruits and love what you do. It bears our name; it is part of our identity.”
It is clear that relationships to family, wine and the earth are important to the Markeas family, with the strong belief that everything they do at the vineyard has a direct reflection to the wine and their commitment to leave a legacy – both on the land and in the bottle.
THE MALLEE ESTATE RANGE
Hand-crafted from vines planted in 1970 at the Markeas family vineyards, which are surrounded by Mallee country. Yields have been kept low to ensure intense flavour in the berries and to express the fine terroir, which has stood the test of time. The nose has hints of vanilla and chocolate and the palate shows full fruit flavour, subtle French oak and develops to a warm, soft finish. This is a medium-bodied wine that is excellent drinking now.
Hand-crafted from the Markeas family vineyards, which are surrounded by Mallee country. The yields have been kept low through careful pruning and management to ensure the terroir is fully expressed. The intense colour is the beginning of the complexity, as the nose has hints of vanilla and spice. The full-flavoured palate offers herbaceous and blackcurrant characters, which are balanced with 12 months of American oak maturation. The fine grain tannins lead to a long-soft finish to be remembered. This is a full-bodied wine that is great drinking now or can be cellared for further ageing.
Hand-crafted from vines planted in 2000 at the Markeas family vineyards, which are surrounded by Mallee country. The yields have been kept low for this interesting new varietal to ensure its character is fully expressed. Purple in colour with a violet hue, the nose has hints of wild berries and plums. The full-flavoured palate offers earthy and dark cherry characters, which are balanced with 12 months of American oak maturation. The fine velvety tannins lead to a pleasant soft finish. This is a medium-bodied wine that is great drinking now and is an ideal accompaniment to pork and game dishes.
Hand-crafted from vines planted in 1978 at the Markeas family vineyards, which are surrounded by Mallee country. Golden straw in colour with green tinges, the nose offers a complex of ripe peaches and tropical fruit. The fresh palate has an abundance of zingy fruit with subtle French oak that leads to a crisp-soft finish. This is a great drinking wine and is an excellent accompaniment to chicken and seafood on the BBQ.
Hand-crafted from vines planted in 2001 at the Markeas family vineyards, which are surrounded by Mallee country. Straw yellow in colour with green tinges, the nose offers an assortment of floral and fragrant flavours. The palate is crisp and savoury, balanced with a soft fruity finish. This is a refreshing drinking wine and is a delicious accompaniment to seafood and white meats.
Retail pricing is available for this range at $15 per bottle or $180 per dozen. All pricing is in Australian dollars. For further information go to www.malleeestatewines.com.au or email email@example.com